People came in large numbers to attend the funeral of 35-year old Ntombizanele Mntsizela, who poisoned herself and her four children at Jabavu locality in the Eastern Cape.
Ntombizanele took her four children, aged between three and 14 years old, to a nearby forest, where she made them drink the tank pill and strangled them to death.
One of the children, an 11-year old survived as she pretended to be dead.
Residents say this is the first time such an incident happens at Jabavu locality and it is very shocking. Speakers at the funeral described Ntombizanele as a mother that loved her kids.
Family spokesperson, Nofezile Sikhundlwana, says they didn’t know how they will bury four bodies but government intervened.
“We saw people helping even though we don’t know where exactly it was coming from. We did not even pay a cent for this funeral. It is very pain but because we assisted to bury them we feel better. We are still worried about the one at hospital because we do not know what will happen to her eventually.”
The 11-year old girl that survived, when she was poisoned with her siblings, attended the funeral. The director of Khula Community Development Petros Majola says the child was fine until she saw the coffins.
Majola says they need to find roots behind these incidents.
“When we arrived at the hospital this morning she was still in the hands of social worker she was laughing, i saw her last-week so when she saw me she knew i was here to support her. So we came in here she was smiling even when we got into the tent. But the moment these bodies were carried into the tent then she broke down. There is something underlying, those underlying circumstances we need to dig down.”
Port St Johns mayor Nomvuzo Mlombile Cingo says they are failing and need assistance to deal with these challenges in rural areas.
“We need to be assisted u departments that are well vesting with cases like these for example social development where we can get people who can make us understand why people go through such decisions on life. So this if affecting the community it’s affecting families its affecting us also because we are unable to make sure that we keep kids safe from their mothers.”
Mlobile Cingo adds that government must implement projects that will benefit people in rural communities.
“Port St Johns is vast and having a lot of things that can change people’s lives, so this smart city development is not just something that is smart but is something that will change people’s lives and them participating in the economy in a proper way.”
The surviving child will continue to receive counselling. Petros Majola says the child will not return home anytime soon but might be taken to a relative.